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Deducting Mileage for Charity on Your Tax Return

If you volunteer for an eligible charity and itemize your deductions, you can take a write-off for mileage as well as parking and tolls.

How much can I deduct on my tax return for miles I drive for charity? I’ve been driving two hours every weekend to help build houses for a local charity and am wondering if I can take a charitable deduction for the mileage.

In 2016, you can deduct 14 cents per mile you drive to do work for an eligible charity, as well as the cost of parking and tolls. Keep a log of the starting and ending mileage, the date, the name of the charity and the purpose of the trip.

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You can deduct charitable contributions only if you itemize, and the charity must be eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. You can look up the charity's status by using the IRS's exempt organizations search tool.

You can also deduct other out-of-pocket costs you incur while doing work for a charity, such as the cost of building materials, ingredients for dinner at a homeless shelter, and stamps for a fund-raising mailing. Keep your receipts. You must get an acknowledgement from the charity for out-of-pocket expenses of $250 or more.

See IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, for more information about what you can deduct and the records you must keep.

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